Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.
—Acts 9:10–12 (nlt)
Two totally different men: one a committed believer in Jesus Christ, the other praying and seeking Him. A believer—and a praying man!
That’s all the first man was: a simple believer, nobody special, an every- day guy who had something different in his soul. He was a believer!
Let’s look at this verse in Acts 9:10. Here is this average everyday believer named Ananias; we only hear about him this one time in the entire Bible. Yet, he was the guy God used to launch the greatest ministry in all the world next to Jesus Christ Himself! This man Ananias was directed to lay hands on Saul of Tarsus…who went on to write two thirds of the New Testament, testify to the most powerful leaders in the world, encourage the body of Christ for thousands of years, and revolutionize our understanding of God Himself!
I can’t always put into words what I believe it means to simply be a believer. In our prayer time together today, you will hear my heart and my passion about this much clearer than in these words. I don’t know about you, but so often, I’m tempted to feel like I’m less than most pastors and preachers. Hundreds of thousands of times, Satan has told me that I’m a loser and that I will never amount to anything, so I should just accept that and quit trying. The one thing in my life that I can point to as the main source of my success in anything I have ever done is my prayer life.
Prayer is the most powerful force ever known to mankind. The spiritual world knows this and that’s why prayer is so very hard to maintain. But when we know this prayer struggle, we can submit it to God and through His Holy Spirit, our prayer time will become the most desired time in our day.
Ananias, an everyday believer who had a deep love for God, was used by God to launch the apostle Paul into his destiny for the Almighty and His church! I want to be like that, don’t you? I want to be so in tune with God that He flows through me daily to share His love and power with someone, somewhere, every single day. When you have a consistent prayer life, this automatically happens. How else could Ananias hear God’s voice in this vision so clearly? If he wasn’t in tune with God, he may have just rolled over and gone back to sleep.
Today is your day to stop rolling over! That’s why we have embarked on this 21 Days of Deeper Prayer with God; we want to hear His voice more clearly. Okay, so maybe we won’t launch a man into a ministry like Paul’s. But if we start praying every day with true faith, and wait- ing upon almighty God, calling out to Him, and standing in the gap for our pastor, his family, and the church staff, don’t you think that the same God who blessed Paul will bless all of our church leaders and all of their families? Maybe what we are missing in the church at large are more people like Ananias, not more preachers.
God simply said that Ananias was a believer, just like you and me. Come on now and get excited with me—we are believers! I know that this is one of the areas of the church we just don’t understand. God has pas- tors to bless, teach, and strengthen the church, but the church is you and me. We are believers, and we have God’s calling and His anointing to be the church and do the works of Jesus. Let’s agree today that this is the last time we are going to accept a second-place mentality that just because we don’t have the title of pastor, preacher, or whatever, we aren’t called to greater works for the kingdom of God. We do have the title of Believer.
Now let’s go to almighty God together and confess our sin of unbelief and perhaps laziness for not acting like a true believer. Our pastors, their families, and the world around us need the power of God within us to bless them and help them to become what God has destined for them to be.
Today we will pray the Scriptures over our loved ones and all of the burdens you may have in your life. We are going to go before almighty God and believe Him and His promises to us and pray them out loud together. We are going to ask God to help us to never limit Him in our lives and open up our minds to see Him as He actually is, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. There is nothing He cannot do.
Excerpted from “21 Days of Deeper Prayer: Discover an Extraordinary Life in God” by Jim Maxim with Daniel Henderson, © 2020 by Jim Maxim. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.
Free audio prayers found here: www.acts413.net/deeperprayer